As if Twitch's chat wasn't bad enough, over the last year or so it's gotten worse by what's called a "hate raid," which is when a group of users invades a streamer that sends the same hate messages. . They could they demand the public execution of gays, or declare that it is a channel belongs to the KKK. The latter was aimed at a streamer named Rek It Raven, who asked Twitch to provide better tools to combat hate attacks and other attacks against marginalized streamers with the tag. #TwitchDoBetter. In response, the streamers who used the tag were the target of another round of hate attacks, #TwitchDoBetter repeated them along with streaks of insults or simply the word N repeated over and over again.
"I started because in a week I was attacked twice by hatred," says Raven, who plays horror games like Left 4 Dead 2 and Phasmophobia. “Then I started talking about it, and more people who were in marginalized communities or in marginalized groups were really saying,‘ Hey, that happened to me too. ’Unfortunately, I’m used to taking some form of hatred: I’m a queer-colored person, featuring a woman, I’m a very easy target, but that was more than just “You’re black, you’re fat, you“ It’s gay ”. These attacks were very clear. "
Guess who attacked hatred again tonight? Keep hating, girls. I'm not going anywhere. And just because you've created accounts like "ravens_baboon_lips" and "ravencantbreatheofficer" doesn't mean fuck me up, because I'm still here and I'm still ✨thriving ✨ pic.twitter. com / fHtgy1Os2WAugust 7, 2021
Twitch takes half of what streamers earn with subscriptions and a similar amount of advice from fans (some of the most popular streamers negotiate a better rate, but there are a few). However, the moderation tools it provides are basic and not up to the task. Twitch Automod has four levels of filtering to choose from and supposedly adapts to detect intentional misspellings, but can still be defeated by something as simple as inserting a single Cyrillic character into a insult.
"The answer for people who disagree with the move is to 'get thick skin,'" Raven says. "I'm black, I've had thick skin all my life. But it doesn't mean that seeing really hateful things in a place or in a community that you've built and fostered being respectful doesn't mean I don't internalize it, because yes. I think that everyone does, because it's hard enough for marginalized people to exist in the real world anyway, so when I sculpt, at least in my case, my little dark corner of the internet and people bring me that, it's painful ".
Streamers like Raven are calling for prevention to be prioritized over response, suggesting ways to reduce the flood of bot accounts, how to apply two-factor authentication, and allowing streamers to choose how long an account should last. before you can post it to the chat. "Many of these accounts are created the next day, so the creators should say, 'Hey, I don't want anyone chatting if their account is less than seven days a week, right? "Raven says there's probably no way to completely eradicate the problem, but it's still worth working to reduce how often it happens." Unfortunately, we won't eliminate hate incursions, but we can make sure it is more painful to do so. "
Twitch responded to the hashtag with a thread, thanking those who had shared their experiences and writing: "We've been able to identify a vulnerability in our proactive filters and have released an update to reduce this gap and better detect hate speech in chat. We'll keep updating. We will launch improvements to ban detection and channel-level account verification by the end of this year. We are working hard to launch these tools as soon as possible and we hope that have a big impact. "
The message ended by saying, "Our work is never done and your input is essential as we try to create a safer Twitch. We will reach out to community members for more information about their experiences," although Raven has yet to received a response in person.
We’ve seen a lot of conversations about bottlenecks, hate incursions, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators. You ask us to do better and we know we need to do more to solve these problems. This includes an open and ongoing dialogue on the safety of creators.August 11, 2021
Raven describes himself cautiously optimistic about this statement. "I'm glad they finally responded, so we know they really see what's going on," they say, "But we've been here before, haven't we? And it hasn't changed much. I mean, they came out with a new, more defined TOS in the beginning. year and people still don’t stay at that level.So I’m optimistic that they have responded and that they hear everyone shouting like, “Hey, we’re literally being mistreated on your platform. "I don't know what will come out of it. I really hope they reach out to me and a couple of other marginalized creators, but I don't know if that will happen."
Twitch is owned by Amazon, a company whose CEO and now former CEO has just flown into space, so it looks like he could afford to do a little more about hate speech and harassment. In April, Twitch managed to ban millions of robots and a similar level of response to the platform used to abuse the people it benefits from would be a good image.
“We’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” Raven says. "And I think that's important because I think a lot of people pretend that it can intimidate us off the platform. And the fact that things are wrong doesn't mean we can leave. A lot of us have spent time and money being here. that we exist, we are here, we are real and we will continue to fight. "